After two captivating editions of the INSIDE THE MATRIX event series, ONE Championship is ready to serve a third dose of knockout mixed martial arts action.
This Friday, 13 November, the world’s largest martial arts organization will air ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, which was previously recorded at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The card is packed with top-ranked contenders, world-class promotional newcomers, and rising stars who could challenge for a ONE World Title in the near future.
With that in mind, here are the five biggest reasons to watch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III this Friday.
#1 Team Lakay Takes On The World
The famed Team Lakay will look to make a statement on Friday night.
Three members of the Baguio City-based collective will compete at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III – former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and rising superstar Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang.
Belingon, the current #1-ranked bantamweight contender, will face John “Hands Of Stone” Lineker in a battle that will reveal the most dangerous knockout artist in the weight class.
Eustaquio will look to take a monstrous step toward the ONE Flyweight World Title picture and enter ONE’s Athlete Rankings. To do that, he must defeat “Running Man” Song Min Jong, a surging South Korean Mixed Martial Arts Champion who is riding a four-bout winning streak.
Opening the show will be #5 strawweight contender Adiwang, who’s defending his spot in the rankings against debuting Shooto Strawweight Champion Hiroba Minowa.
#2 Lineker’s Big Opportunity
Lineker is currently the #5-ranked bantamweight contender, but a highlight-reel performance on Friday night could send him flying up the chart.
The Brazilian will be standing across the Circle from Belingon, a former bantamweight king who’s been a cornerstone of the division for several years. The Filipino is currently the #1 contender and ranks first all time with six finishes in ONE’s bantamweight division.
That type of opponent excites Lineker, who is eager to stand and trade with the wushu specialist. And should the Brazilian defeat – and stop – the division’s leading knockout artist, he could leapfrog “The Silencer” in the rankings and break into the ONE Bantamweight World Title picture.
- Lineker Says He’ll Beat Top-Ranked Belingon: ‘No One Can Stop Me’
- How To Watch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III
- Eustaquio Says Big-Fight Experience Will Give Him Edge Over Song
#3 A Battle Of Monstrous Welterweight Contenders
While the main and co-main events are stealing all the headlines, two top-notch welterweights will be seeking their 10th professional victory.
Russian Mixed Martial Arts Champion Murad Ramazanov has steamrolled the competition, winning nine consecutive bouts, including his promotional debut in February. With an unblemished record and a 77 percent finishing rate, he could be the welterweight division’s next breakout star.
Standing across from Ramazanov will be Pancrase Champion Hiroyuki “Japanese Beast” Tetsuka, a physical specimen who is riding a five-bout winning streak and also owns a 77 percent finishing rate.
Both men are bringing solid credentials and tremendous momentum into this tilt, and after ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov just successfully defended his belt, the winner of this contest could end up next in line to challenge the Kyrgyzstani king.
#4 The Debut Of A BJJ Superstar
Friday’s card marks the highly anticipated mixed martial arts debut of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu superstar Yuri Simoes.
The Brazilian has emerged as one of the biggest names in the sport, amassing an astonishing 86-21 record, becoming a two-time ADCC World Champion, and winning four World No-Gi BJJ Titles.
Now, Simoes is looking to follow in the footsteps of multiple-time BJJ World Champion Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon and multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke by making a smooth transition to mixed martial arts.
His first test against seasoned veteran “King Kong Warrior” Fan Rong will be immensely difficult. The 27-year-old Fan is a Chinese Mixed Martial Arts Champion, holds a 13-2 professional record, owns a 92 percent finishing rate, and eagerly wants to work his way toward a rematch with new middleweight king Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder.
It won’t be an easy assignment for Simoes, but the Brazilian is motivated. Perhaps a new star will be born on Friday night.
#5 Japan’s Next Strawweight Star Arrives
Simoes isn’t the only athlete making his promotional debut at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III.
The event will also feature the grand premiere of Minowa, who is the latest Shooto Strawweight Champion to join The Home Of Martial Arts.
And as history has shown, Shooto Strawweight Champions have the tendency to dominate ONE’s strawweight division. Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito and Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta both held the Japanese promotion’s belt before moving onto the global stage, and both of them quickly captured the ONE Strawweight World Title.
Like his compatriots, Minowa has been dominant. He owns an 11-2 professional record with a 100 percent finishing rate, and his all-around style could give #5-ranked contender Adiwang fits throughout the bout.
What’s more, this talented Japanese athlete is only 21 years old and hasn’t come close to hitting his prime. Minowa could be a star on the global stage for a long time to come, so fans will not want to miss his debut.